Irrational Number Line Games, LLC
So this is actually making mesas, but I'm making them from boxes, so box canyon sounds cooler. Trust me. It's actually cooler.
And, of course, if you position the mesas in the right way, they can make a box canyon.
Working with these 12"x12"x12" book boxes that have been through several household moves, the box is basically the mesa. The size fits well with my 12"x12" ground tiles.
The 12" height is quite a climb for 28mm figures, and even more for 15mm figures. By cutting the boxes in half, I can make two 6" tall ones. And If I offset another 3", I get one 3" and one 9" mesa from one 12" tall box.
Since my ground tiles are nutmeg (dark brown) and burgundy (deep red), I am making vertical stripes in these colours up and down the sides of each mesa. The stripes are irregular to make them look more "natural", which the creases and such from multiple moving uses also does with the surfaces.
Really, that's it. By using a few standard size boxes, I get progressive elevations in increments of 3". Of course, you could get the same type of stepping with 2", 1", or whatever size works for you.
I can do my layout on a groundcloth without bringing the boxes out yet. This is a nice feature, since the ground tiles are easier to futz around than the boxes.
But the boxes go right under the ground tiles and create the elevation.
This arrangement is a bit contrived to show what the final project looks like, but we did use it for a scenario.
And with a little more dressing, even this simple river canyon set up looks inviting for play.
And the elevations create the interest points for how to aggress the scenario.